Open Love Proposal: The Bible perspective, what youths need to know

By Pastor E. O. Olowookere

To start with, let us answer the question, what is OPEN LOVE PROPOSAL? An open love proposal is an event where one person in a relationship asks for the other's hand in marriage publicly. If accepted, it marks the initiation of engagement, a mutual promise of later marriage.

In these days, this has become a common trend mostly among the youth (young people). Hardly will you not come across a report or some trending gist on social media which has to do with some of the young chaps asking themselves out for a love affair.

In fact, there exist so many websites dedicated for the purpose of giving people some tips to follow in making what we call "open love proposal" which is believed to be an irresistible kind. But the question is, is this trending love expression normal Biblically? Should we encourage our youth to tread this kind of path for their own relationship? Is there any recommended way for a Christian to make a love proposal? These and many other related questions we shall delve into in this discussion. 

We should not forget that we are in a changing world even though the Creator remains unchangeable. When he decided to bring a normalcy into the world he destroyed through the deluge he declared his unchanging standard for the world (see Gen 8:22). Nevertheless, mankind had proved their ability to chose contrary to the will of God despite their clear understanding of God's plan for humanity (Gen 9:1,7; 10:8-10; 11:1-9). In the light of these scriptural references, one will agree that human beings have actually chose to differ from following whatever that could seems God’s way for them, except for the few who willingly submit themselves in following the revealed will of God (cf. Gen 12:1ff).

Now coming back to the issue of love proposal (either open/public or close/private type) hardly could anyone of us scripturally point out the references that lay for us the manner by which we ought to make our love proposal, yet the the Bible is not all that silent on the kind of scene for love proposal. However, that we have the record of Cain's murderous act or Lamech boastful killing in the Holy writ does not mean that such an act is divinely approved (or permitted), so also if we want to argue the manner of approach some biblical characters expressed their love these too doesn't equally mean divine laid down rules or practices for any generation too. 

Let us take some of the characters for case studies: Jacob, Moses, Samson to mention but few. 

Jacob: when Jacob first met Rachel, their emotional expression was not based on any amorous affection but that of a reunion of family lines (Gen 29:10-11). If anybody dare use this incident to justify their open love proposal (which sometimes looks dramatic), such a person only ignorantly applied the scripture to his or her own way. Or don't we also read that Laban, the father of Rachel also expressed similar affection to Jacob (Gen 29:13)? Morally speaking, the Bible never pointed to us that Jacob took any advantage of any moment against Rachel, in fact, it was when Laban asked him his price of service that he first and openly showed his interest in Rachel (see Gen 29:15-20). Although this was not given to become a model for any generation to follow but it opened our understanding that it is good to properly request for the hand of anyone we want in marriage in a decent and morally way. 

Moses: much was not disclosed about the love between the man Moses and his wife Zipporah other than the brief record that the woman's father personally gave her to him for a wife (Exod 2:21). Yet when we critically looked into the passage, we will agree that it wasn't only Zipporah that was the daughter of Reuel (Jethro) that Moses had ever met (Exod 2:16-18). So from this inference, I want to believe that Moses must have been asked if he had any interest in any of the ladies (the daughters of Jethro) but only for him to have mentioned Zipporah for her father's approval and blessings. You will agree with me that in those days young ladies don't object their father's approval (either it means what they want or not), so no one should take Moses and Zipporah as an example of open love proposal because they met somewhere else. Moses meeting Zipporah and his sisters at the well doesn't justify such a practice. 

Samson: for the fact that the man Samson made a wrong choice never meant that we cannot learn from his manner in love proposal. In Judges chapter 14, we saw how Samson got his parents involved in his love life. The Bible put the story as follows, "And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.  And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife." (Judges 14:1-2). This reference should teach any godly single brothers on the need to carry the elderly ones along in their choice making. The example of Samson here, shows to us how the average young Jewish people respect their parents judgment in their choice of marriage, although Samson only informed his parents but he never sticked to their godly advice. But because his choice is divinely orchestrated, there's nothing his parents could do to override his choice (see Judges 14:4). To cut the long story short, Samson never married his choice wife without the consent of his father and mother (vv. 5, 10). So when we take this as an example, although we were not to commanded to take Samson's case as a formula but to learn from the beauty of being courtesy in our approach. 

Now, with the above case studies, do you see any form of being desperate or deceptive by these biblical characters? No! They weren’t. They were only genuine and not being just sentimental or follow any kind of common trend in their generation but with some level of godly fear in their hearts showed their love for whom they choose during their time. For this reason, I want to encourage our Christian youth to please avoid following trends that do look like a show of shame or dishonor to our culture as believers in Christ. Those outside the faith may do all manner of things despite their later regrets but the Christians are not expected to go the same way because of the Lord’s sake. 

I will advise young ladies also to beware of false love proposal as this period could be full of such and such from men of nowadays, especially that they are claiming to be celebrating the season of love they tagged VALENTINE DAY (February 14). Love is more than a feeling. It is "choosing to be kind towards another" regardless of the circumstance. So if any young lady fails for cheap drama of open love proposal, such may end up regretting her consent at the end of the day when the acclaimed lover later turned a displeasure to her. At the same time for young men, if you determined to make any approach to a lady out of mere feelings without considering the price of remaining faithful to your promise of love (that the determination to remain being kind regardless of the circumstance now and ever), you may lead yourself to what I called eternal regret when you met with disappointment from the said lady. 

Valentine day or not, true love remains constant just like a straight line, while amorous affection (which mostly responsible for many open love proposal) is circumstantial like a zigzag that rises and falls often times. 

Thus, ideally young brothers and sisters (especially in Christ) are to avoid the cheapest and most likely dramatic expression of their love all in the name of public stunt but they ought to give themselves to a reasonable time of waiting before the LORD for choosing their own partner and allowing the Spirit of God directing their paths (which may not be methodical in any way) but through involving a godly counsel where necessary for safety. Their love proposal should not be attached to any sentiment such as a particular day like Valentine day because everyday is sanctified by the Lord so far whatever we do in each day is because of the Lord! 

Thank you and God bless you for having me share my little understanding in this matter! 

Pastor E. O. Olowookere 


CAC English Assembly (Anointing Chapel) 

Latona Osogbo 

Orogun Regional Headquarters.

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